Tuesday, May 24, 2011

3 Phases of the painting "Native Son"

Here are three phases of an acrylic painting called, "Native Son", which was completed two years ago.
I couldn't get the photos set up correctly on this blog so the first phase is actually the one on the bottom . The canvas has been covered with a terra cotta underpainting which is just like the papers and panels used in my pastel paintings. The warm tone makes the cool color palette in my work sparkle. It's rare that I paint on a white or light toned background.
I paint with a big brush(house trim painting size)
and use all the tips and edges for blocking in and shapes right down to the smallest areas including the mooring line. The only time I use a small brush is for my signature. I found that this works for me because I have to move my whole arm to get what I want...there's more energy in the strokes. Yellow was added midway then white and green mixtures were scumbled over areas of the boat. I used a dry scumble of greens on the water for depth and reflections.
The scene is from memory. When I was a kid we lived near Casco Bay and these islands could be seen from the beach where I spent many summers. How fortunate I was....

The outboard motor was my favorite thing to paint..love the shape of it, especially the little prop in the sun.

The clouds came from a photo I took in the California desert around Palm Springs.

The skiff....well... she was on dry land in the middle of December...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who's your Buddy now.

This is 'Buddy' a handsome mixed breed dog owned by a friend. He reminds me of a German Shepherd in this portrait, especially with his large upright ears and coloring. His direct gaze speaks to his personality which I'm told is strong and energetic but lovable.
This guy loves to run and he has just the right home for it with a big beautiful field on the owner's property and plenty of pesky wildlife around to keep him entertained..like a family of foxes.
His new mother loved him from the start, but he was a handful and his dad wasn't quite sold on the idea. It took a little time but Buddy worked his way into everyone's hearts and now his dad takes him everywhere.
This is acrylic with touches of casein mixed in, painted on a terra cotta toned panel. I started using toned pastel papers several years ago and use that same underpainting for acrylic and casein. You can see it peeking through in the background and in areas of Buddy's chest and neck. I like the warmth and cohesive quality of this method.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photoshop experiments

The pastel panels I ordered should arrive tomorrow and until that happens I'm playing with recently finished acrylic paintings in Photoshop. We've had this program for about 12 years now and it's been really helpful when it comes to altering paintings for the "What ifs". I'm never satisfied with a finished painting...there's always something I should've done differently and this program gives me a chance to try it. I've also found that by flipping a painting horizontally distortions are easy to spot. That's come in very handy since there's no mirror in the studio and dragging some of my paintings down spiral stairs to the bathroom is an accident waiting to happen.

Here are three versions of the acrylic painting 'Puddy' and it's interesting how the hues and tone values change the feeling. One of the applications makes him look like he's moving.

These are my favorites..